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RightScale Cloud Management Platform and Cloud Computing Glossary of Terms
An entity for organizing and managing cloud resources for an enterprise via the RightScale Dashboard and API. A RightScale account includes one or more sets of public or private cloud credentials, and one or more users (including the user who created the account)—identified by email addresses—with varying role privileges.
A collection of RightScale objects (RightScripts, ServerTemplates, MultiCloud Images, and macros) associated with one or more RightScale users (or RightScale Enterprise child accounts) who can access them from the "Shared" category in the RightScale MultiCloud Marketplace.
A set of conditions defined by RightScale or a user and monitored by the system on a running server. These conditions, when met for a specified minimum time span, can trigger either an autoscaling event or an action or sequential series of actions known as an alert escalation.
An automatically triggered action (for example, sending an email, scaling up an array, or running a script), grouped sequentially with other actions into an alert escalation. Alert escalations trigger when their associated RightScale- or user-defined alert conditions are met for a specified minimum time span.
A group of user- or RightScale-defined alert actions, executed in sequential order when their associated alert conditions are continually met for a specified time span. When all alert conditions are not met, the actions associated with the alert escalation stop executing.
Describes a feature that has undergone simple testing and is expected to change, possibly significantly, before going into "beta" or "general release" status. We recommend that you use alpha features for testing purposes only, and not in production environments. Limited technical support is available for alpha features, and service-level response times do not apply.
See Server Array.
The system-triggered, automated addition or removal of compute resources (servers) used to run an application in the cloud, to support changes in demand or handle other conditions. See also Server Array.
Describes a feature that has undergone significant testing and is not expected to change significantly before general release. We recommend using beta features for testing purposes only, and not in production environments.
This is a generic term for detachable storage from cloud providers, such as volumes. Block storage consists of volumes or block "devices" that are typically used to attach to instances for high performance storage. This is in contrast to remote object storage.
An open-source configuration management tool written by Opscode and used by RightScale for automatically configuring cloud servers, as an alternative to RightScripts.
An account that is set up and controlled by a parent account. Enterprise managers can control and provision users to the child account through either the parent or child account. Only enterprise accounts can create children accounts.
Attributes display as user-configurable inputs in the RightScale dashboard. Attributes are most commonly used in recipes. In order for attributes to be displayed in the dashboard, they must be properly documented in the Chef metadata (metadata.rb).
A cookbook can depend on other cookbooks for resources, providers, and definitions. If a dependency is not specified for a cookbook, an error may appear when you modify a ServerTemplate. Dependencies may only influence certain recipes in the cookbook and, therefore, may not be necessary to run the recipes you add to your ServerTemplate.
Refers to bringing cookbooks from the Repositories section of RightScale into the Cookbooks section. When a cookbook is imported into RightScale, it can be added and then used with ServerTemplates.
An object consisting of executable code to be run on a virtual machine, comparable to a script. As with RightScripts, cookbook recipes are associated with ServerTemplates and either manually run from the RightScale Dashboard or API or automatically run during a server's boot (startup) or decommission (shutdown) phases.
The maintained source-code storage location for a Chef cookbook used with RightScale objects. In order to use a cookbook's recipes with a RightScale-managed server, you must reference its repository in a RightScale RepoPath associated with the ServerTemplate.
The location where the cookbook was imported from.
Refers to making an exact copy (clone) of a RightScale component such as a deployment, server, ServerTemplate, RightScript, or alert. To edit a published ServerTemplate or RightScript, you must clone it first.
A major, general release of RightScale components, including ServerTemplates, RightScripts, Chef cookbooks and recipes, and MultiCloud Images (MCIs). Generally, the individual components of a compatibility release are guaranteed to be compatible with one another, which simplifies the setup and integration process for RightScale users deploying in the cloud.
A user-defined name-value pair in a RightScale Dashboard account, for associating a hidden, protected value—such as a password or private key—with a name used to reference it as a RightScript or recipe input. Only "admin" users can view credential values.
A regional datacenter in the cloud. (Datacenter and zone are synonymous.) A cloud will often have multiple Datacenters which can help when architecting a highly available Deployment.
A logical, user-defined grouping of servers. Typically, servers in a deployment work together, belong to the same project or project phase (such as testing, staging, or production), share similar input values, or all of these.
A user-performed action for a published RightScale component (RightScript, ServerTemplate, MultiCloud Image, or macro). Deprecating removes an object from the MultiCloud Marketplace but, unlike deleting objects from account groups, keeps it accessible to any macros that reference it.
End of Life (EOL) stage marks when the feature or support for specific version is removed at the discretion of engineering. Customers will lose access to the discontinued feature on a specified date.
End of Support (EOS) stage marks the official withdrawal of technical support for specific versions of clouds or RightScale product features. RightScale support will provide best-effort support up to the time the feature is removed from the product (End of Life). No new enhancements / non-critical bug fixes will be added after EOS date.
Describes a feature that is significantly tested and used internally by RightScale and externally by customers/partners, or is a minor upgrade from a prior GA release. We recommend using GA features in production after testing them using your established internal criteria and staging environment. Also known as general availability (GA).
A HEAD version is the newest version of a RightScale asset (e.g. HEAD ServerTemplate, HEAD RightScript). The HEAD version is a living, editable version, as opposed to a un-editable committed revision. HEAD versions are not recommended for production use. Subscribing to a HEAD version of a ServerTemplate or RightScript will mean that all changes may be automatically inherited from the publisher.
Computing services performed by a combination of public and private cloud resources—for example, an application that runs on a private cloud, but can scale out to the public cloud to accommodate increased demand.
See Machine Image.
ServerTemplates that are part of an "infinity" release are the newest versions of this ServerTemplate. Infinity ServerTemplates are not guaranteed to be compatible with each other, but carry the newest features and bug fixes.
A variable in RightScripts or an attribute in Chef recipes that a user sets using the RIghtScale Dashboard or API. Users can define RightScript or Chef recipe input values for a specific ServerTemplate, deployment, or server. Generally speaking, inputs are variables within a script that allow you to substitute specific, user-defined values for the input when an associated script is run on a server
A virtual machine running in the cloud.
Every cloud infrastructure provides compute resources and the ability to provision these resources. The most important characteristics of compute resources are CPU, memory and local storage. They tend to factor most heavily into the decision making process of which compute resource you should use to meet your specific requirements. Each cloud provider has varying resources and levels of granularity that they provide. RightScale uses Instance Types to help normalize the offerings. (Note that your cloud provider may not refer to compute resources by the same name.) Instance Types are coded into the RightScale Dashboard; you cannot just create, delete, and maintain your own Instance Types arbitrarily.
External IP address for the instance to forward traffic to when configuring Port Forwarding Rules. The instance may have only one IP address, but it could be more than one. Hence, you must specify the IP too, not just the instance itself.
This is the first generation of the RightScale platform that used two separate APIs for clouds (API 1.0 and API 1.5). Legacy Cloud Platform (LCP) deprecates in 2014. Legacy Cloud Platform is succeeded by the Unified Cloud Platform.
Long Term Support (LTS) is a ServerTemplate that is the final version in its release lineage. Along with being supported long term, these ServerTemplates are full-featured and stable.
A virtual image (or virtual appliance, in hypervisor terminology) representing a collection of software: generally an operating system and accompanying applications or utilities. Administrators use machine images installed in virtual environments (such as a public or private cloud) to define and run virtual machines on a hypervisor. Contrast with MultiCloud Image.
A maintenance release resolves critical ServerTemplate issues. Maintenance releases are typically related to LTS ServerTemplates, but may occur with infinity ServerTemplates. A maintenance release version of ServerTemplate will look like "ServerTemplate vX.X.X".
An exact copy of a data set. RightScale hosts its own regularly updated mirrors for OS distributions and other code packages installed with RightImages. RightScale's mirrors provide a consistently available, high-performance download source used by RightScale-managed servers launched in the cloud, as well as eliminating transient problems often associated with public mirror sites.
A RightScale object used to group and reference similar machine images—typically with identical operating systems, operating system versions, and so on—across multiple public and private clouds. MultiCloud Images (MCIs) are key components of ServerTemplates, and indicate which combinations of operating systems, versions, supporting applications, etc., have been tested with a ServerTemplate. They also help users choose a supported software platform for new servers, based on matching machine images already installed on their target cloud.
A RightScale-hosted clearinghouse for reusable cloud components (ServerTemplates, RightScripts, MultiCloud Images, and macros) published by RightScale, RightScale partners and internal groups, and other RightScale users. Components are published either publicly to all users or privately to an account group. Users can import them from the MultiCloud Marketplace into their RightScale Dashboard accounts and clone them to create editable versions.
Network Manager is a service provided by RightScale so you can manage subnets, security groups, and other network resources for your cloud through RightScale.
An account that manages and controls child accounts. One benefit of having child account is the ability to have a user enter in a set of cloud credentials that differ from the parent account. As an example, let's say you want to have a user add their own AWS account number to RightScale but still manage your own AWS credentials. You can provision a child account and have a user add in their own credentials while still being able to manage and control users to that account.
Cloud computing services performed by on-premise hardware, software, and network resources.
Placing a RightScale cloud-management component (ServerTemplate, RightScript, MultiCloud Image, or macro) in the RightScale MultiCloud Marketplace, making it either publicly available to all RightScale users or privately available to select accounts, via an account group.
Refetching is an action you can use in the Repositories section to perform a scrape to see if any changes have been made to a repository. If there have been changes made to cookbooks within a git or subversion repository that has been added to RightScale, performing a refetch will update the repository.
Generic term describing cloud storage services for static files—for example, Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), Rackspace Cloud Files or OpenStack Swift. Data is stored as files (objects) in named containers (buckets), which typically govern access permissions. Since ROSs are not directly accessible via cloud server file systems, they generally store static data (for example, binary database backups) that does not need to interact with cloud applications. Contrast with Volume Storage.
A RightScale-created or user-defined component of a Chef-based ServerTemplate, which points to one or more cookbook repositories where recipes associated with the ServerTemplate are stored.
A RightScale mirroring service that automatically mirrors Chef cookbook source-code repositories referenced in RightScale RepoPaths.
A machine image—containing an operating system, RightLink agent, and, often, accompanying utilities or applications—that RightScale publishes or provides for installing on a cloud. A machine image supports either a single cloud, group of clouds, or specific cloud and hypervisor combination. RightScale's published MultiCloud Images and associated ServerTemplates reference RightImages.
A RightScale instance agent, included in all recently published RightImages and installed on servers that reference those images, which supports RightScript and Chef recipe execution, server monitoring, and other activities requiring communication between RightScale and cloud servers.
An executable script written in Bash, Ruby, Windows PowerShell, or another scripting language. RightScripts run manually from the RightScale Dashboard or API or automatically during a server's boot (startup) or decommission (shutdown) phases. RightScale, RightScale partners, and RightScale users can create RightScripts and publish them individually or as part of a ServerTemplate to the MultiCloud Marketplace. Contrast with Chef Recipe.
Similar to a network firewall, a cloud-specific collection of access rules governing which server IP addresses and groups of servers in the same cloud can access associated cloud servers over which network protocols and ports. A single security group can apply to multiple servers in a cloud, and a server can belong to multiple security groups. Many, but not all, clouds use security groups.
The collection of properties and attributes that define a virtual machine that has run, will run, or is running in the cloud.
A collection of properties and attributes defining one or more identically configured virtual machines running in the cloud. See also Auto-scaling.
A RightScale-specific, reusable component that defines the characteristics of a cloud server in a way that is repeatable across multiple servers, clouds, and deployments. A ServerTemplate includes one or more MultiCloud Images used to define an operating system and supporting applications for the server, and a collection of RightScripts or Chef recipes that install select applications and define configuration settings and other attributes.
A RightScale-managed monitoring host that processes statistics from cloud servers in Rightscale deployments and monitors for alert conditions and then displays that information in dynamically updated graphs in real-time in the RightScale Dashboard.
A security component used by some cloud providers to secure client connections to servers in the cloud over SSH or Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).
Refers to downloading the HEAD (most recent) version of a RightScale component, such as a ServerTemplate or RightScript, from the MultiCloud Marketplace to your RightScale Dashboard account. Changes made to a HEAD component and published to the MultiCloud Marketplace are automatically reflected in the downloaded version in your own account.
Descriptive metadata that is defined by RightScale or a user and associated with RightScale-managed objects such as servers, storage volumes, and MultiCloud Images. RightScale users can use tags for filtering objects in the RightScale Dashboard or API, while RightLink and other RightScale functions use them to facilitate server communications (for example, to register an application server with associated load balancers on startup).
A unique ID. UIDs are system assigned and used to identify cloud-specific resources such as images, instances, and security groups.
The Unified Cloud Platform (UCP) is the new version of the RightScale platform. It contains a single, unified API 1.5 where all clouds are supported. The Unified Cloud Platform succeeds the Legacy Cloud Platform, which used separate APIs depending on the cloud.. All new RightScale functionality is developed for the Unified Cloud Platform exclusively, including optimized performance, new UI, integrated cloud services, more API calls and new multi-cloud tools.
An individual, identified by a unique email address and password, with login access to and role privileges in one or more RightScale accounts. See also Account.
Generic term for persistent cloud storage that is formatted and accessed as an extension of a cloud server's file system. Examples include Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) and CloudStack volumes. Contrast with Remote Object Storage (ROS).
A weighted array is an array where you specify the distribution of instances among zones. The allocation is weighted randomly so the number of instances launched in each zone may not be equal at any point in time. However, they are asymptotically equal meaning the more instances launched, the closer it will resemble the distribution you specified. Weighted arrays are configured on the Array Details tab when adding an array.
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